Long Trail School graduates 21

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DORSET — The 21 graduating Long Trail School seniors stood with their parents socially distanced around the school's parking lot for the final time as one of the strangest senior years ever came to a close May 22.

After having spring sports, prom, class trips and other senior year highlights canceled, they got one last chance to be together.

In a graduation ceremony absolutely nobody would have wanted or predicted 2 months earlier, the Class of 2020 stood separately, yet together, for one final time listening to Head of School Seth Linfield speak.

"We are all together facing a singular trial today," Lindfield said. "You graciously surrendered the normal rhythms of your senior year to protect our community members. As stakeholders in an International Baccalaureate school, we have learned anew how interconnected our world is. We appreciate even more that we must address global challenges with authentic knowledge and reliable science. And we now discern even more acutely that this wisdom becomes real only when we share it."

Linfield spoke of the COVID-19 victims, the frontline workers he labeled "heroes" and the graduate's parents and families in his address.

"I could not be prouder of each and every one of you — for who you are as human beings and for the hard work and many accomplishments that have brought you to this day," Linfield said. "I can promise you two things. First, you will always be loved here at Long Trail School — my love, the love of our faculty, and the love of everyone here in this parking lot or tuning in. Second, whatever turns your path takes, you will always have a home at LTS, and be welcome here."

Linfield pointed out the 21 seniors had been accepted to 92 colleges, devoted 18,144 hours to their sports teams, and given 3,630 hours of community service.

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"You have already hinted at your boundless promise," Linfield said. "Your class is about the excitement of transformation, about cultivating that conservatory of knowledge, motivation and ethics where you will be ready to repair our world."

He referred to those repairs as a "generational reconstruction."

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"In a time of disruption such as this, the fresh approaches will come from you," he said. "Your creativity will flourish, in frames both local and global. The world is your design lab — and you will move us."

Linfield extolled the seniors to take their curiosity with them and seek justice and truth.

"Wherever you go, and whatever you do — each with your own particular gifts — may you be a true servant leader, learning with the same curiosity as here at Long Trail, principled, caring, faithful to justice, and eager for truth," Linfield said.

Linfield led the graduates to move their tassels and declared them graduates as the bells rang in their honor.

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In one final break with tradition, not a single senior tossed a mortarboard into the air, but simply climbed in their vehicles decorated with balloons, paint, streamers and even a rocking chair, and laid on the horns to announce to the world that they had arrived.

With a pair of Sheriff's deputies and a fire truck leading the way with sirens blaring, the Class of 2020 toured Dorset

The graduates hung out of car windows and stood up through sunroof openings. Spurred on by family and faculty who lined Pauls Way, the road that had delivered them to and from class at this picturesque campus set among the rolling green Vermont hills, they headed off to pursue their future.

As they made their way around town, people came out of their houses and businesses to cheer them on. Traffic stopped and waited patiently for the parade to pass, some getting out of their cars to clap and cheer.

In the middle of Dorset, on the town green, LTS juniors, who had put together personalized gifts for their elder classmates to ease the sting of having their senior year disrupted, waited with dozens of others, who all had been disallowed to attend the campus event due to the continued risks.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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